No horsing around

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pictured above is Northside graduate Hannah Beamer competing at the National Finals High School Rodeo in Wyoming.. (Contributed Photo)

Area sports enthusiasts looking to broaden their horizons need look no further than Hannah Beamer.
Beamer, a Belhaven native, has been active in competitive horseback riding from a young age.
She said that her connection to horseback riding started early.
“I have always liked horses as a little girl. I started taking riding lessons at four-years old and my parents bought me my first horse when I was seven. She was a horse that a little girl had used in 4H and Jr. Rodeo events. Star was her name, and she taught me more about riding than any person. I started going to 4H horse shows with her and got interested in games.”
Hannah’s career path has been one of progression. Each step along the way has been helpful.
The Beamers lived in Montana for a while where Hannah attended a Junior Rodeo with her parents and little brother, which offered her a beginning in learning the rodeo events. She competed in the peewee games, which had goat tail tying and barrel racing, flag races and pole bending.
When Beamer was in the fourth grade, her family moved back to N.C. where she attended Northside High School.
Since there were not any junior rodeos she got involved 4-H horse shows until she was in junior high. The National High School Rodeo Association started the Jr. High Division and she joined it when she was in seventh grade. She started in pole bending and barrel racing and eventually got into roping and goat tying.
Hannah said that she rides up to four different horses in different events: barrel horses, pole horses, rope horses, and goat tying horses. Now that she has graduated, she will not be doing goat tying anymore and plans to focus mostly on barrel racing.
Hannah said that training is as much about the horses as it is about the rider.
“Horses have a lot to learn to be able to compete. There are things like flying lead changes and collection that they have to know. My parents have always bought me good quality inexpensive horses and I have trained them to do the job they need to do. We like cutting horse bloodlines for barrel racing because they are quarter horses and can run fast and turn quick. Bloodlines are important in a horse because it helps to know what their parents could do. Then, you can decide what job the horse will be best at. Horses are smart and learn quick, but you have to be patient and work with them over and over. I like to get a young horse and train it my way. I have learned that there can be problems if you get a horse that has already been trained one way. It may have a lot of issues that you have to fix before you can make it work for you.”
As Beamer’s high school career drew to a close, she will has pulled some impressive feats.  She won the All Around Cowgirl Title for the state of N.C.  She also won the AQHA Horse of the Year on a horse named Lindees Missy Cash.  She has been the Barrel Racing and Pole Bending Champion all four years of High School.  She has tried many different competitive horseback riding events like Western Pleasure, English and Hunt Seat, but she likes the Rodeo events most of all.
Hannah said she plans to set her sights high after high school and for that matter even college.
“I am just getting ready to go to Martin Community College and major in Equine Technology.  I have had several offers from colleges out west to go out there and be a part of their college rodeo team, but I don’t think I am ready to go that far from home yet. I am a member of some professional Rodeo organizations and plan to continue to rodeo and barrel race on the weekend. My goal is to make it to the NFR, that is the National Finals Rodeo, in Las Vegas. That is the biggest and best rodeo ever.  It will take a lot of hard work on my part, but I plan to make it.”